OT: Never forget - 9/11



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I was in Midtown that day. Have a crazy story of my own but doesn’t compare to two others.

First one is that one of my wife’s co-workers was on the first plane to hit the towers. She found out about an hour or so after they confirmed the flight number. Cant even imagine the fear those people felt as they were scraping the top of those buildings going 500mph right into impact.

The second is even more chilling. The next year was hosting a bday party for my daughter. At the end of the party when the parents show up to pick up the kids, I start chatting up one of the dads. We ask each other what we do, he tells me he works for Cantor. I must have turned white as a ghost. He says, yeah.I was there. Turns out he had a visitor that morning who was stuck in the building lobby cuz he forgot his ID. His secretary, who was 8 months pregnant said “don’t worry about it, I’ll go down and get him.” Guy days “no way, not in your condition. You sit down and I will go get him.” First plane hit as he walked off the elevator into the lobby. You wanna talk about survivor guilt??? I couldn’t speak.

It’s written about in a book called “102 Minutes”.
Jesus
 

storrsroars

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However, something I’ll never forget is the feeling of absolute community and solidarity we felt in the days afterwards.

Lets never forget that, despite the political polarization and cultural fragmentation that has occurred in the years that have followed, that feeling that there is undeniably something that binds us together; our Americanism and our humanity.

That is something special.
I didn't get that feeling. I was living and working in Quincy. Wife was in Pittsburgh. I took time off to drive out on 9/12 as there was no work for me to do. On the long drive I kept news radio on. Report after report of Sikhs and other "Middle-eastern looking" people being molested or beaten up. It was quite sad.
 
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A lot of people would just freeze and hope for a miracle. You would be amazed at how rare the "go down fighting" mentality is and it only becomes more so as time moves on.

Another sad facet of this is how the country has changed from the day after 9/11 to today. Then, the country was united like we hadn't seen since Pearl Harbor. Now we hear things like "some people did something" and read things like "airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center".
We also heard “now I have the tallest building in Manhattan”... right on 9/11.
 
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A lot of people would just freeze and hope for a miracle. You would be amazed at how rare the "go down fighting" mentality is and it only becomes more so as time moves on.

Another sad facet of this is how the country has changed from the day after 9/11 to today. Then, the country was united like we hadn't seen since Pearl Harbor. Now we hear things like "some people did something" and read things like "airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center".
Concerted effort on the part of the media to ignore the gravity of the day, purportedly to not traumatize us. BS. There are documentaries that should be shown on television on this day every year and even made part of school curriculums so kids can recognize and understand true evil.
 
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Reading these tragic personal stories I can't help but think how many stories there are in the hearts and minds of the people in countries where the US has been bombing before and since 9/11.

If 9/11 makes you feel sad, angry, frightened, hopeless ... then I think you are probably closer to understanding why such a thing as 9/11 could happen in the first place.

This is not meant to devalue 9/11 or to excuse the attack - I know there are some here who will have that instinctive reaction. Rather I think this perspective and understanding is one of the ways in which we can learn from the tragedy of that day.
 
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Posted elsewhere by a friend of mine:

<< Reposted with permission from Lars Ampler (a US administrator with whom I crossed paths in Afghanistan):

“I’m not interested in your 9/11 memes... In my humble opinion September the 11th should not represent anything that we celebrate in any fashion, what-so-ever. We were attacked; innocents died on those planes and in those buildings: And brave public servants died as well. But 9/11 was an intelligence failure that spanned two administrations. And our response – 18 years fighting multiple wars, only one of which was even remotely related to the attack- has been an even bigger failure.

While I am a veteran, I had been off active duty for several years by the time of 9/11. I was working in a classified space at a DoD Think Tank just a mile or so from the Pentagon, and heard the explosion as a plane hit that building. I/we lost brothers-in-arms that day, and my old unit rucked-up and was in Afghanistan just about a month later. I arrived in Kabul a few months after that.

September 11th 2001 filled us all with the extreme emotions of the moment, and blinded us to the long-term consequences of decisions that were made that day and on subsequent days. Some of those decisions were made in good faith by hard-working public servants. But I firmly believe that other decisions were made by callous calculating mercenaries who saw opportunities for personal and/or political gain in the war they knew would come.

September 11th was the first day of eighteen years of bad decisions (with good decisions in-among, but overwhelmed by the bad) that cost our great country immeasurably in blood and treasure. It was the kick-off of almost two decades of travesty that went unchallenged because to speak-up was somehow seen to be “unpatriotic,” or to somehow devalue the sacrifices our men and women overseas were making: When, in actuality, the opposite was true. The consequences of our patriotism, blinded by rage, have depleted our treasury (they were un-funded wars), and devastated one, if not two, generations of Americans.

To be clear, I am not speaking-ill of the first responders, soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, FSOs, Civil Servants, Contractors or others who have sacrificed in this incredibly long trail of wars. But I am disgusted by the leaders who initiated them so blindly (or, less charitably, so driven by greed) and who pursued them so poorly.” >>
 
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Reading these tragic personal stories I can't help but think how many stories there are in the hearts and minds of the people in countries where the US has been bombing before and since 9/11.

If 9/11 makes you feel sad, angry, frightened, hopeless ... then I think you are probably closer to understanding why such a thing as 9/11 could happen in the first place.

This is not meant to devalue 9/11 or to excuse the attack - I know there are some here who will have that instinctive reaction. Rather I think this perspective and understanding is one of the ways in which we can learn from the tragedy of that day.
In terms of our response, it is hard to know what was real and what was BS. We will never know what the Intel said and we never do. I do tend to think that we police the world too much. But, again, I admit that I don't know the inside story. What I do know is that our foreign policy is inconsistent and insanely expensive. And it doesn't matter who is in office. Neither of those are good. There are no easy answers here. However, one good step might be to create term limits in congress. There are too many people beholden to too many people and I bet that is why we make many of our bad decisions.
 

nelsonmuntz

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A few months before September, I put in a request to attend a conference similar to the ones I had attended in the past, but due to some belt tightening my request was denied. I was bummed at the time, but I later found how fortunate I was. The conference was hosted at the Windows on the World restaurant, at the top of the north tower, on 9/11. No one who attended the conference survived. Crazy how seeming bad things can turn out to be good things with enough perspective. (For me, that is. Not the poor souls who perished.)
I was going to go to that same Risk Waters conference, but through a series of screw ups by my secretary at the time, I ended up double booked that week so I had to go to Atlanta instead. I would not be here today if I had a competent secretary in 2001.
 

MattMang23

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I was going to go to that same Risk Waters conference, but through a series of screw ups by my secretary at the time, I ended up double booked that week so I had to go to Atlanta instead. I would not be here today if I had a competent secretary in 2001.
I hope she/he was given a raise for her/his incompetence. She/he saved a life.
 
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I was going to go to that same Risk Waters conference, but through a series of screw ups by my secretary at the time, I ended up double booked that week so I had to go to Atlanta instead. I would not be here today if I had a competent secretary in 2001.
I hope they know this story and that you’ve thanked them.
 

Pgh2Storrs

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Was a Freshman in a CT HS at the time. My school had 2 or 3 pay phones back then and I remember the longest line of students waiting to get on the phones to call their parents who worked in NYC.

All of my teachers went about the day as business as usual and I will never forgive them. We had no cell phones so we got our info throughout the day in between periods from kids who were eating lunch the period before and got to watch on the TVs.
I was a sophomore in HS at the time and my school operated similarly. Teachers knew what was going on, but the school district sent out a notification that all staff were not to turn on the TV or discuss the events with students in an effort to prevent panic (cell phones were still somewhat new and anyone who did have one, had to have it in their locker). I remember going into classes with our teachers crying/unable to speak and thinking maybe a staff member/student had passed away. Obviously in today’s age with cell phones, there’s no way they could have kept events like this from getting out but the confusion/paranoia of not knowing what was occurring that day still resonates
 
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